Annual Art by Bus Program Offers Slate of Visual Arts, music, and literature on public transit

“Mr Softee” by Ed Bordett

RIDE Solutions, the Roanoke Arts Commission and the Greater Roanoke Transit Company have come together to present the 3rd Annual Art by Bus program. Art by Bus promotes the value of public transportation to the community by bringing visual arts, musical performances, and inspired writing onto the valley’s bus network.

For the third year in a row, selected works from the City’s public arts collection will be displayed on the exterior of four Valley Metro buses. “The goal of this program is to bring more awareness to the fact that the city has a regional art collection and encourage people to explore the work within public buildings by literally taking it out into all parts of the city,” said Vice-Mayor Anita Price.

The Roanoke Arts Commission chose four works of art from its collection of 130 works, nearly 100 of which are by artists currently or previously living in the region. The works are: Abstraction One by Jill Jensen; Scrumptious Pears by Mary Jane Burtch; Mr. Softee by Ed Bordett; and Henry Street by David Ramey. Artists Ed Bordett, David Ramey, and Jill Jensen were on hand for the unveiling of the pieces.

Also returning is the Writer by Bus program. Shari Dragovich of Roanoke County was selected through a competitive process by a panel of arts commission and community members. She will ride various buses throughout March and April to produce literary works about her experiences, the people she meets, and the neighborhoods she travels through. Her work can be followed at the Writer by Bus Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/writerbybus, with the final works appearing on the RIDE Solutions webpage after April.

Finally, RIDE Solutions will work with local musicians to sponsor a series of short concerts on the Star Line Trolley throughout the duration of the Art by Bus program. Dubbed the Star Line Series, the musical performances will feature violinist Erin Hunter and guitarist Joy Trukowski; trumpeters John Stump and Ernie Freeman, saxophonist Justin Pinckney; sets by local duo Another Roadside Attraction; folk guitarist Carla Nelson; and country guitarist Cody Dean.

Carl Palmer, General Manager of The Greater Roanoke Transit Company, praised the cooperative effort. “After three years, we hope the citizens of the valley have come to see how important public transit is to the quality of life and economic vitality of our community. We hope you have seen and appreciated the art as it has rolled down your street, but even more we hope that you have taken a ride on the bus.”

More information on Art by Bus and the participating artists can be found at ridesolutions.org/artbybus.